So I was riding my bike to work, casually, listening to an audiobook. (I'm on the fifth book of the Game of Thrones series if you're really curious.) Whenever I listen to an audiobook, I don't ride particularly fast or hard. I cruise along.
A woman wearing full-length jeans and a backpack passed me. Again, I wasn't riding hard, you know, because of Westeros and the coming of winter. The woman had to stop at a red light, and I pulled up next to her. A train was crossing parallel to the road we were riding on, so I paused a moment and then rode through the red light, knowing that no car would be turning in to the passing train. It was illegal but safe.
When the woman caught up to me—have I mentioned that I was not riding hard?—she said, "You're a good rider."
The Mormon Boy Scout part of me wanted to say, "Thanks! You're a good rider, too!"
"What's up?" I said.
I knew what was coming next.
"Your wheel isn't seated right. It's at an angle."
That's true! I had a flat tire and wasn't able to get the wheel back in properly. It caused the brakes to rub, so I fixed the problem by loosening the brakes.
"You can't have everything," I blurted, happy not to be told that cyclists need to follow the rules of the road.
As she rode ahead, I wondered if she always takes that approach, giving compliments before providing feedback. Excuse me, you have a lovely shirt, and your fly is open.